Netflix’s show The Get Down is the most expensive TV series yet from the video streaming giant, according to Variety. The Get Down cost $120 million to produce, with Moulin Rouge director Baz Luhrmann acting as showrunner.
Why such a big budget?
The Get Down, a hip-hop musical show, is set in the late 1970s and tracks the emergence of hip-hop through the eyes of kids from New York City’s South Bronx. Marco Polo, which cost $90 million due to filming in international locales like Malaysia, Kazakhstan and Venice, Italy, was the previous title holder of the expensive show.
There are many reasons for the shocking budget, which increased from its initial $98 million since the video streaming giant outbid FX for the series more than two years ago. The Get Down has started, stalled and stopped so many times with scripts written, thrown out, and rewritten that some writers started calling the show “The Shut Down.”
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In addition, there are several production starts and stops as well, including a move from Los Angeles to New York City, which, according to Luhrmann, would be more authentic. It also meant losing the original showrunner of the series, Shawn Ryan, who is also the creator of the very popular FX show The Shield. The large budget of the show included other important things such as a company of full-time dancers and licensing music.
Netflix bore the cost of production. Further, the streaming giant raised its usual 30% premium fee to 60% to the production company, Sony Pictures Television, because the project is highly anticipated. When the show went over-budget, Sony TV lost some of that premium fee, so it was a good deal for it.
Only six episodes to hit Netflix now?
Thomas Kelly (Blue Bloods, Copper) joined as showrunner in New York City. However, as Kelly and Luhrmann had creative differences, the second showrunner left the production. Luhrmann decided he would take over the job after that. For Luhrmann, there was a learning curve for producing a TV show that slowed down production for some time.
In an interview with Variety, Luhrmann said he really believed “that I was sort of going to be an uncle to the project.” He told Variet that the standard process did not really work, “so progressively, I was drawn more and more into the center of it.”
Even after all this, the series is not quite done yet. On August 12, only the first six episodes of the series will hit Netflix. The rest of the season, which is undergoing the final touches, is expected to hit by mid-2017.